Pronunciation: (fran'chīz), [key]
n., v., -chised, -chis•ing.

1. a privilege of a public nature conferred on an individual, group, or company by a government: a franchise to operate a bus system.
2. the right or license granted by a company to an individual or group to market its products or services in a specific territory.
3. a store, restaurant, or other business operating under such a license.
4. the territory over which such a license extends.
5. the right to vote: to guarantee the franchise of every citizen.
6. a privilege arising from the grant of a sovereign or government, or from prescription, which presupposes a grant.
7. Sports Slang.a player of great talent or popular appeal, considered vitally important to a team's success or future.
8. a legal immunity or exemption from a particular burden, exaction, or the like.
9. Obs.freedom, esp. from imprisonment, servitude, or moral restraint.

1. to grant (an individual, company, etc.) a franchise: The corporation has just franchised our local dealer.
2. enfranchise.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

Franche-Comtéfranchise clause
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